missizzy: (evenstar)
Went to the Folger Theatre to see their production of Timon of Athens, a play I knew literally nothing about going in. Not the first Shakespeare play I've done that with in my life, but the first one in a very long time. I wasn't sure what to make of it. On one hand, it's one that happens to be pretty relevant to the modern day, and the modern-dress production enforced that. On the other, it was a bit too bizarre for me, and it was also done a bit more loudly than necessary. It's pretty clear why people don't put it on that often; it's not an easy play at all. Mom compared it to Beckett. I have not enjoyed what exposure I have had to Beckett...
Even stranger was Thursday, when everyone was hooked on Comey, and all I could think was how much real difference can what he says make, when the Republicans won't impeach Trump anyway, and even if they did, they're still taking away our health care? Not to mention I was more distracted by the British election, which I started the day equally pessimistic about. Nor do I think things look particularly good for the immediate future, if top position is still looking likely it'll either stay with Theresa May or go to Boris Johnson. Yet it was a relief to see them weakened rather than strengthened, and I still feel better about the long-term future of Britain than I did, especially since it looks like Scotland may not be leaving after all. Maybe in five years time, they will right their ship over there. Meanwhile, I quite enjoyed election night, and the amusement of the likes of Lord Buckethead. I'd say I'd like him over here, except it would be depressing, because he'd still make a better president than Trump.
missizzy: (hisoka)
In the end, the furniture all got delivered and assembled within one day, even when two of the guys didn't get cleared and had to sit the day out at Pentagon City. It's very nice furniture too, beautiful blue chairs and metal tables for the computers, an understated front desk, and similar.
Went to see the Met's broadcast of L'Amour de Loin today, and also bought my ticket for Rogue One next week. The story was absurd, even by opera standards, and parts of the very abstract production were too, but the music was fascinating, and the light show they had on the stage to stand in for the ocean was kind of brilliant. The main trio were all good, and Susanna Phillips even managed to make the ending pretty powerful.
I was sorry it was the same day as the Grand Prix Finale, though. Managed to get my recap of the senior event done tonight, but the junior event and the Golden Spin of Zagreb will have to wait until tomorrow(seriously, if Carolina hadn't been making her return there, I wouldn't have bothered with the last). Somehow there always seems to be an opera the same weekend as the GPF.
Not really reacting to the leaked CIA report, since it confirms what anyone who was paying attention pretty much knew already. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem likely to have any practical results...
missizzy: (harrypotter)
At one point this morning it looked like we might get the books shipped out to the bindery tomorrow. Then it turned out we needed information we didn't yet have, and it fell through. Then the bindery called this afternoon and suggested the 22nd as a day. With that date to work with, and two weeks to it, we actually should be able to pull this off! It does mean the books sitting in the mailroom for a month, though.
Trying to decide if and when I should go buy the Cursed Child script. Last weekend it really didn't feel worth it to attend a midnight release, and I still feel like getting and reading it would be something of a chore. I'm sure I'll do it sooner or later, but so far I really haven't felt like it. Besides, I'm currently reading through Jeremy McCarter's account of the production of Hamilton with Miranda's songs and notes, which is a much more gratifying read. Apparently he was quite delighted at all the use of the "Never 'gon be president" now refrain often being used with each Republican who dropped out of the race. I've got Chernow's biography too, but that will probably wait until I'm done with my current book about World War I.
missizzy: (moulinrouge)
This weekend I've mostly spent watching tennis, happy to have some of it to watch today and eagerly anticipating a 4th of July that allows me to be at home for the Super Monday at Wimbledon. I've associated the holiday with Wimbledon already, but will even more so now that it happens before the amount of matches happening thin out to final rounds. Yesterday Sam Querry's win over Djokovic, despite multiple rain delays, was a huge thrill that had me singing and tweeting about the world turned upside down, and today Tsonga & Isner's five-setter was another quality watch. Watching Coco V win today was fun too.
I did have to take a break from it yesterday, though, to go with my mom to the Folger and see Aaron Posner's District Merchants which adapts the story of The Merchant of Venice to 1870s DC. It turns Antonio into Antoine, a freeborn black making money off Reconstruction, Bassiano in Benjamin Bassiano, the son of a slave and her master pale enough to pass who has a huge emotional conflict over his decision to marry Portia with her initially thinking him white, Portia herself into a regular crossdresser who rails that she has to dress as a boy to study law and certainly shows herself to be a brilliant lawyer in the trial scene, but struggles with her own racism, Nessa and Lancelot into black servants who have their own views of their employers, Shylock into a sympathetic figure driven to be how he is by how the world has treated him, but a tyrannical father, Jessica into a proud Jewish woman who nonetheless runs off with a gentile out of sheer desperation to escape him, and Lorenzo into a louse unaware of his white male privilege, who does nonetheless care for Jessica, and ultimately it's him who converts rather than her! It was the kind of play that is determined to make you think about everything, hitting hard on issues that still affect us today, with maybe a few too many speeches, but it successfully redeemed the original story, and worked especially well with a DC audience. It's just ended its premiere run, and I hope it gets put on again.
Heartbroken over Joshua Farris' retirement, which has put a dampener on my excitement over the Grand Prix. Was it only a year ago he and Jason Brown were supposed to be the next great two and the next rivalry? Jason's commemoration on Instragram was both heartbreaking and heartwarming.
missizzy: (evenstar)
Today we celebrated Shakespeare's anniversary by going to the Folder to watch the Reduced Shakespeare Company perform William Shakespeare's Long Lost First Play(Abridged). En route, I refreshed Twitter like mad waiting for the announcement of the new Doctor Who companion, though when I told my mom what play Pearl Mackie is currently performing in, she actually recognized it, though she spoke disparagingly of the book it's based on as offensive to autistic people(of course, the play might be better about that). William Shakespeare's Long-Lost First Play(Abridged) was a laugh-a-minute affair that mixed characters, speeches, Disney, other modern references, and anything else that might amuse in a madcap piece where incoherency was just part of the humour; the tempest just before intermission was so funny I was still shaking with laughter five minutes after it ended. On the way home I showed mom Patrick Stewart's B Soliloquy from Sesame Street.
We shall be wandering further afield than any of that before the year's over, though. My mother will be presenting a paper at Chawton in October, so we'll be flying there, and spending a few days in London as well. We've booked cheaper hotels than the ones we stayed in last fall, and plan to book tickets to events in advance as well, which will make things less stressful. I may also buy some new warm tops; October's a cold time to be going.
missizzy: (evenstar)
Went to the Folger today to see A Midsummer Night's Dream. Their latest production of it combines a generic modern setting with a genderswapping of all the theatricals except Peter Quince, a good deal of interaction with the audience(one highlight was Helena fleeing Hermia through the audience and apologizing to people she jostles), a lot of sound effects, modern music, and occasional modern lines(Hermia picks an odd time to realize Lysander doesn't have his inhaler with him), and certainly was funny, though it troubled me how they didn't seem to trust the original words to do the work. Getting there and back was a pain, though, since the blue line was only running every twenty minutes, although apparently most of the other trains were worse. On the way back, I saw more than one person try to force their way through closing doors to not have to wait twenty minutes, and that was in the underground stations; at the ones out the cold, the wait would be worse.
Got barraged by hello messages on OkCupid today. Not at all certain why. Have responded to some lately, but then there was one from a guy in India! That's probably not going to work out.
missizzy: (Default)
Both days of this last weekend were spent with Wimbledon in the morning. Was pleased to see Serena win Saturday, especially when she then left Centre Court balancing the Venus Rosewater Dish on her head! I'm sure a lot of the snobs at the All-England Club didn't like that at all, which just makes it all the more delightful. Less happy about Djokovic winning the men's title, or rather, about Roger Federer losing it. It's starting to feel like his final slam count is going to be the current 17.
Saturday afternoon, meanwhile, I was having ordinary enough a day, debating with myself whether or not to join my mother and her autistic friend Vivian to go see the fireworks set up in honor of my city's birthday that evening, when suddenly around 3:30 the power randomly went out. Apparently a lot of people lost power in Northern Virginia, even when the weather was perfect; something must have malfunctioned. So around six we went out to Noodles & Company for dinner, and then together picked up Vivian and went to the orchestra concert & fireworks. They were held in a park by the Potomac, where the crowd was a bit much, but the orchestra did a terrific job, mostly playing movie sountracks which I identified for my elders' benefit, culminating around 9:30 with the 1812 overture, with a cannon present on the far side of the park to fire, and then the fireworks started at the appropriate time during the finale. They played throughout the entire thing, mostly John Williams, Aaron Copland's Fanfare for the Common Man, and Stars and Stripes Forever, making for a great show. The drive home afterwards was so long my phone battery ran dangerously low, but thankfully when we got home the power was back; it had come back within ten minutes of mom and my fleeing the house!
Yesterday we went to Wolf Trap to see The Ghosts of Versailles. Since it was an adaptation of the third play in Pierre Beaumarchais' Figaro trilogy, which contains the two plays adapted into The Marriage of Figaro and The Barber of Seville I was very curious about it. Unfortunately, it was an insult to the memory of Beaumarchais, not only losing all his radical politics but in fact reversing them to worship Marie Antoinette and wrecking his story and characters. It was incoherent as an opera too. Should've gone with my autistic social group instead.
missizzy: (Default)
Have downloaded Sony Vegas for the second time, and currently on a trial run. Trying to recreate(more or less) the Brian Joubert montage I created in Windows Movie Maker, although this is made harder by the latter program crashing. If I succeed and it saves to a usable movie file, I'll shell out the money and make it my permanent video editor. Except I think I may in fact still be on the trial run that started with my first attempt at downloaded it weeks ago, which means I have to do this pretty fast. I really want to be sure it saves to movie file before I pay. Although a comment from a vidder on my Twitter feed that she thinks most vidders are using it nowadays is encouraging, at least.
Thursday night was an interesting adventure. Initially my sister and I believed our show to be in Shirlington, and I found a bus that went there directly from the Pentagon, so we met there and dined in the revamped version of the Chinese restaurant that was once our go-to place for Christmas. Then we discovered the venue had moved to Crystal City. Good thing curtain wasn't until eight! We got there, was lucky in parking, met up with a pair of her friends who were also attending the show, and with rain starting to fall were glad the new location was in Crystal City's underground level, and could be walked to in the tunnels.
The show was entertaining. The Acro-cats are a group of cats owned by one woman who trained them using a clicking device and a *lot* of treats to do things like jump through hoops and balance on balls, as well as a couple of tricks that were truly spectacular. That is, when the cats felt like doing them. Occasionally they preferred to wander off the stage or sit on the footlights. Which was when the show was at its most entertaining; we all laughed out heads off. Photos were allowed throughout the show, and at the end we were invited on stage to take more photos and pet the one cat that didn't mind being petted by strangers.
We got out with the rain mild, and my sister agreed to give everyone rides home. En route the deluge hit. We noted as we got on Jefferson Davis Highway that the name of said road really needed to be changed, but by the time we got off it had-to Jefferson Davis River. It was a slow trip home, though thankfully things lightened up *slightly* before it was time to drop me off, so I avoided getting *totally* drenched.
Still raining today, with varying levels of intensity. Good day for staying in and vidding. At least when I next feel like dealing with my current two video editors.
missizzy: (moulinrouge)
Ironically, back when we first saw The Death of Klinghoffer, the controversial opera on the 1985 hijacking of an Italian ship by four young Palestinian men and their murder of an elderly disabled Jewish American man who’d had nothing to do with Israel, on the Met’s HD broadcast schedule, my family wasn’t sure we’d even bother with it. We’d seen Nixon in China and thought it all very well(although the clash of the real and surreal made it a bit odd as an opera), except that the dissonance-based score was headache-inducing. But when certain people bullied the Met into taking it off the schedule, and my mom and I decided to weekend in New York, we decided what the hell, go see in person the opera certain people were trying to keep from us, and even booked our seats for the matinee show yesterday which would’ve been the transmitted performance, and instead ultimately became the final one. So I have now seen the Met in person, discovered while box seats have their fun points they all have their disadvantage when it comes to the angles, and discovered that between his freshman and his sophomore work, John Adams showed himself to have a very definite modus operandi, and also as a pure composer reached a whole new level of achievement. Also, even though I felt a headache coming on moments before curtain, between when the music started and the curtain call I noticed no pain at all-though that might have simply been how absorbing the opera was.

Adams is a master at choral numbers. )
missizzy: (Default)
Friday night mom and I went to see a production of Hamlet done by a group originating from the Globe Theatre in London that is currently on a tour which will have them perform in every single nation in the world.  They did it in more or less modern dress, but began and ended with singing and dancing, as they would've back in Elizabethan times.  It worked well enough, though unfortunately I was a little too tired to appreciate a Hamlet where most of the speeches seemed to have been kept in to be lingered over, and I dozed during most of the play within a play.  I was impressed with their work when I was awake for it, though, especially that of the big clownish man who doubled as Polonius and the gravedigger, and their treatment of Ophelia, which really gave the feeling of madness.
But yesterday we went to see a Fringe Festival production of Jean Anouilh's Antigone, which was written for the stage in Nazi occupied France and was done as a mythological play in order to get past the censors; it was really very much about Nazi occupied France.  The Wandering Theatre Company, who staged the production, also drew as many parallels as they could with modern day America, and while certainly it was a far from perfect fit, more than one line really struck home.  And between staging and some intense no-holds-barred performances, it was a powerful, impacting production; when mom and I walked out we agreed it had in fact been better than the Hamlet.   No way I was falling asleep during that one.
Today I went to watching the second round of qualifying at the Citi Open, since it was the day I had free to go watch multiple tennis matches.  Highlights of the day including witnessing Taylor Townsend's power striking and seeing Ilya Marchenko and Robby Ginepri make the main draw a year after I watched them both lose in the first round of qualifying.  Lowlights included getting extremely sunburnt.
missizzy: (broke)
Went today to the Hoffman cineplex to watch the broadcast of the Met’s production of Jules Massenet’s Werther, walking in what was actually very nice weather, though apparently it’s supposed to snow again on Monday; it seems the latest game of climate change is for the weather to descend into chaos. Arrived an hour early to get good seating, settled in to eat overpriced pizza(with very nice crust), and killed time by reading about marching white supremacists on the iPhone before the opera started. Unfortunately, I ended up dozing off for large parts of it, which usually doesn’t happen to me in the middle of the day but perhaps it was because of my rising early this week to watch Junior Worlds, but for whatever reason today it did. I woke up to the sound of my mother crying and we were in the middle of Jonas Kaufman singing the big third act aria, which certainly was powerful, especially with him having the command of it. The music of Werther is very good as making the emotion of the opera rise and fall, especially when aided by a romantic tenor of Kaufman’s caliber.
Then came the final scene, the tragic end, where my mother was crying again, Kaufman and the music were still ruling the roost-until suddenly the sound stopped. When it didn’t come back on the lamenting started. Somebody apparently got the radio broadcast playing on one of their gadgets, but it was soft and out of sync and occasionally interrupted by Spanish-language radio stingers. The big question we all had, of course, was whether the fault was with the Hoffman(not the first time it would’ve been) or if the broadcast itself was having a problem. So I pulled my iPhone back out, loaded up Twitter, and entered “Werther” into the search box while several people went the the management to complain.
The sound finally came back literally the second the curtain fell, by which time I had found multiple tweets from people who had also lost sound, though it was trickier to determine where they were, until one tweeter identified herself as being in the Ziegfield in New York City. So it looked like this was a problem at least for a large part of the east coast, though I’m still not sure how far it went. For the next 15 minutes or so I kept the app open, reading tweets from people who had suffered the same difficulties, getting much amusement out of it and consolation that we in the Hoffman had not been alone. Watching opera is now truly a global experience-at least when it goes wrong.
missizzy: (padme)
It would take Dizzy Miss Lizzie’s Roadside Revue to lure me into a wooden “tent” structure cooled only by fans on a hot DC July weeknight; this is the third show by them I’ve seen at the Fringe. We didn’t see them last year, though, and I think since then they’ve had some personnel change, and maybe gotten a little tired, because I didn’t absolutely love their presentation of the Bronte siblings and their lives the way I had the first two shows I’d seen.
It was still good. They know how to be lively even in the heat, which they even made references to in the show, I enjoyed the music, with the occasional borrowed line or so from the Beatles, and they showed they certainly don’t stick to the usual fare; instead of doing the story of Jane Eyre, as one would expect, they combine a send-up of Wuthering Heights with a circus rendition of Anne Bronte’s life(with a joke they aren’t talking about her books because noone’s read them; when my mom indicated she was the only person the audience who had Anne actually ran over and hugged us for it!), and letting us learn about the existence of her and even of their brother Branwell, whom even I hadn’t heard of before, mostly because he never had anything published. In fact, more than anything else, they draw attention to how sad and short the lives of all four Brontes really were(though that resulted in one joke my parents didn’t get, since they didn’t know the song “Don’t Fear the Reaper”).
But the splitting of the show up into multiple stories I don’t think quite suited the style that way; in the end one was left with way too little of Charlotte, certainly, and a couple of the musical numbers ended up being repetitive of each other. I was left feeling there could have been more from it. Or maybe I was just overheated?
missizzy: (padme)
And the Met's broadcast season ends with La Traviata, which reduced of all three of me and my parents to tears, even my dad, which is *really* remarkable, and I am now trying ignore the playoffs, as I am really pissed at the idea of all the top teams *except* Boston getting upset in the first round. Seems every time I try to find a way to enjoy this sport again, the Hockey Gods once again maneuver to ruin it. Tomorrow we go to the horse races, in what is now predicted to be 86 degree weather. Better than the 89 it's apparently supposed to be on Monday! Though right now I can see the clouds gathering outside for the rain tonight. Debating whether or not to tweet my #metfaves for the year, as suggested by the hostess, as that would be letting myself be incorporated into their machine, but it might be fun...
missizzy: (jessiejames)
Uploaded a bunch of old icons I used back in my livejournal days. Except I don't remember who made any of them anymore, though I welcome any emails from their creators reminding me of their names, so I can give them credit.
Just got back from the Met's broadcast of Manon. Much flashier than the Royal Opera version I saw last summer, from the set to star Anna Netrebko, though her opposite number Piotr Beczala stole the show.

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